Sunday, June 11, 2017

In Case You Didn't Know by Brett Young - The Best Dedication Love Song From a Man to a Woman

When you've been married for over three decades and one day your hubby, while tidying up the kitchen and listening to the radio, sweetly says, "this song, have you heard it, it says what I feel about you ... it's my song to you".

Well, um yes ... I was caught off guard. Completely off guard.

You see I'm the one who writes about the meaning behind song lyrics for Drageda.com - The Heart of Country Music, and my husband isn't one who closely listens to the lyrics of a song ... or so I thought??

A few hours later the song played again, and with John standing on the other side of the kitchen and I by the radio, our eyes met in a long stare while I took the lyrics in for the first time. As we both began to slow dance, I remember thinking how life and love continues to surprise me.

It doesn't matter how old we get, just like a field of wild flowers, love can continue to grow.

From young people who accidentally met 36 years ago to our lives today, we've managed to survive some pretty crazy odds. Our life was never perfect, far from it, but one of the biggest factors that sustains us is our willingness to keep moving forward through it all.

Each year for our wedding anniversary I select a song that speaks about our relationship, but I never really think the 'ole hubster will pay attention to the lyrics in those chosen tunes.

For our 29th anniversary I selected Better Man by Tim McGraw, and for our 30th the celebration song was Dance With Me by Johnny Reid.

But for anniversary year 32, without ever suspecting it, the task of choosing a song wasn't left to me. 'In Case You Didn't Know', chosen by my husband, is song 32.

If you're looking to dedicate a love song to her, don't hesitate, this is a gorgeous song.

The song, sung by Brett Young and written by Young, Trent Tomlinson, Tyler Reeve and Kylie Schlienger, charted to number one in Canada's Country Billboard as well as number one on the US Hot Country Billboard. It currently remains in the USA's top ten country songs on iTunes.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

World at War, 1944 - Review of a Magic Tree House Super Edition

by Mary Pope Osborne




Synopsis:




In World at War, 1944, a Magic Tree House Super Edition, Jack and Annie are transported to World War II by the Magic Tree House.  Europe is in trouble and they must go behind enemy lines to crack a code that could save a lot of lives. And.... this has to be accomplished before D-Day - which is the day after they are transported back in time to England, then parachute into Normandy, France. 



 


June 6, 1944


Sometime after midnight, 100,000 allied soldiers invade by sea & air to drive the Nazis out of France. It was to be the beginning of the end of World War II.


Super Edition Books from the Magic Tree House Series

 

Magic Tree House Books

This particular book is one of the Super Edition books, which goes beyond the story about Jack & Annie's adventures in time just prior to D-Day.
With a longer story and additional facts and photographs, the Super Edition books also give facts about that point in time.  In World at War, 1944, young readers in the age group 7 to 10 years learn about spies and the resistance movement in France, the National Pigeon Service where trained carrier pigeons carried secret messages, and what life was like for the people of France during the second World War when their country was occupied by German forces. 


Background for the Magic Tree House Adventures


The Magic Tree House adventures for Jack and his sister Annie began one day in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania when a mysterious tree house filled with books appeared in the woods behind their house. Jack & Annie soon discover it was magic and that they could go to any time and place in history just by pointing to a picture in one of the books. As you read the Magic Tree House series, you will see how this magic came to be.

In each Magic Tree House book Jack & Annie are able to travel to various points in time.  They touch a picture of the place they want to go, say the magic words "I wish we could go there" and.... the wind begins to blow, the tree house spins, then everything is absolutely still.... and they are there!  This is also how they return home!



Why I Purchased "World at War, 1944".



David with his first Magic Tree House Book
In March, my young grandson, David, visited 'grandma's house with his family.  While the family was here in Coastal Georgia, we toured Fort Pulaski, a Civil War monument located east of Savannah, GA. David was quite fascinated with the cannons and the rooms set up in historical representation of that time in history. At the end of our tour, we stopped in the 'gift shop' and David found the Magic Tree House adventure about the Civil War. He was absolutely delighted with that book, so much so that he carried it everywhere their entire vacation and had read it 3 times before they left for home at the end of the week. You can read my review of that book, Civil War On Sunday, here on Review This!


David and his Birthday Book


David had his 8th birthday coming up the following month, so I'd asked him what he'd like to have and he pointed out the next Magic Tree House book he wanted, in a list at the back of the Civil War book.  He picked the next war history he wanted to learn about -- World War II and D-Day. This image shows David with his birthday book ~ World at War, 1944! And this is my review of the book, which I read before I mailed it to David in his birthday package from grandma. 


Happy Birthday.... and Happy Reading, David!


World at War, 1944 (Magic Tree House Super Edition



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Potter's Lady - Book 2 of Refined by Love Series Reviewed

The Potter's Lady Book Review on Review This!
Last week, I reviewed The Brickmaker's Bride from the Refined by Love series by Judith Miller.  If you haven't had a chance to read that review, I invite you to visit that review since that book is the foundation for the entire series.

The Potter's Lady picks up the story two years later from where The Brickmaker's Bride ended.  If you haven't read the first book in the series, this article will be a spoiler.  However, The Potter's Lady would be a delightful read regardless of whether you have read the first book.  It can easily stand on it's own merit.

This Christian historical fiction takes us back to the late 1800's where women were not encouraged to explore the working world.  Outside of being seamstresses or house help, there were very few acceptable jobs for women and none of them were considered proper for women in high society.

Reviews of the Refined by Love series by Judith Miller



Review of The Potter's Lady


Rose has just graduated from Philadelphia School of Design for Women and she is quite anxious to get back home to her family, her place of security and love.  Because she is an Irish immigrant, she was not well received by the other girls in the school.  They took every opportunity to make fun of her and to remind her that, regardless of her connections with the Woodfield family, she is still an outcast in high society. 

 The Potter's Lady (Refined by Love)As soon as she sees her brother, Ewan, she knows something is wrong.  She insists that he tell her what has upset him.  When he finally relents and shares the latest news from home, Rose is distressed to hear that Ewan has been forced out of the family brickyard business.  Since he was never made a partner as promised, when Uncle Hugh died, his wife, Margaret became the sole owner and she had her own plans for the business.  On the train ride home Ewan needs to stop to visit two other businesses that are for sale.  He hopes to start over and would like his sister's help in deciding which company would be the best investment.

They visit both a small brickyard and a pottery works company.  Even though all of Ewan's experience has been in a brickyard, the family decides to purchase the pottery company instead.  Since Rose is an artist and Ewan has management and contract negotiating experience, the family believes they would make a great team in a new business.  That decision is also based on not wanting to compete with Margaret's brickyard and potentially causing a greater divide in their extended family.

At her graduation party, Rose reconnects with Joshua Harkness.  His family also owns a pottery works in another city and she believes he might have some insight to help her succeed.  Joshua has other ideas of his own and starts courting Rose, but he also takes a mistress who happens to be Ewan's daughter's nanny.  

Rylan Campbell is a longtime employee of the pottery works that Ewan and Rose purchase.  He is key to helping them grasp the intricacies of the pottery works business.  Rose immediately sees several changes that need to be made to the daily business.  She desires a cleaner environment, as well as a school for the children working at the pottery works.  She gets a tremendous amount of resistance from the workers and even though Rylan doesn't like change, he strives to help Rose implement her ideas.   Rose and Ewan's twin sisters come to the factory to set up the school that will teach around the children's work schedules.

In spite of their hard work and factory changes, the pottery works can't seem to land any new contracts.  That is, of course, detrimental to the success and longevity of the company.  When Rose hears of a contest with a reward of a huge pottery contract, Rose and Rylan go to work on a new design that they hope will win.  However, just as before, Joshua Harkness has other ideas and plans.


My Recommendation 

As I said in the introduction, this book can easily stand on it's own merit.  Honestly, I enjoyed reading this book more than The Brickmaker's Bride, but I was glad I knew the family background, especially where Margaret was concerned.   It was also nice to already be familiar with the history of how Ewan and his family came to America and met the Woodfields.



Reviews of the Books in the Refined by Love Series

The Brickmaker's Bride Book Review

The Artisan's Wife Book Review 



Read More Book Reviews at
ReviewThisBooks.com




The Potter's Lady Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking Charts: A Review

What Ever Happened to Critical Thinking in Education?

As we look around our American universities and the streets of many cities, we see that many people no longer care about critical thinking or examining any opposing opinions. In fact, you don't have to look any farther than social media to see that.  Yet schools used to teach logic and critical thinking. As recently as a few years ago, when I was still selling books online, my best seller was a small flip chart: Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking. Recently, its publisher, Edupress, sold its educational supply business to another supplier. Fortunately, it's still available for home, school, and business use.

Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking Charts: A Review
Top Selling Critical Thinking Aid for Students, Educators, Writers, and Speakers
Collage of my scans edited on PicMonkey

When I Was Still Selling Teaching Resources Directly, This Flew Off My Shelves and I Shipped It All Over the Country.

Several years ago when I got my Edupress dealer catalog, it had a new item in it -- a small chart called Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking. I decided to try a few of them and listed it in my catalog. 

The results amazed me. It quickly became a best seller. Large school districts were ordering it in volume so they could give one to every teacher in the district. I discovered that education professors were giving workshops and recommending that everyone in the workshops buy this little chart. 


Why is this inexpensive little chart so valuable to educators?


This handy chart, which is easily held in one hand, started a stampede of educators to get it because it took the work of Benjamin Bloom and made it easy to understand and refer to. Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking was the work of Linda G. Barton, who based it on the original Bloom’s Taxonomy. 

This little spiral bound chart can be held in the hand while teaching a class or leading a discussion. It doesn’t take up much room on a teacher’s desk when he or she is planning a lesson or writing a test. As you can see in the photo to the left, it has a separate page for each level of thinking in the cognitive domain. If a teacher wants to make sure her test or discussion questions and lesson plans cover each level, all she has to do is flip from page to page.







This Mug Will Remind You or Someone Else to Think Critically 


Do you know someone who needs it? 



As you can see in the picture below, each page is easy to flip open. On the other side of the page you open is a definition of the level of knowledge that page covers — in this case, Comprehension. Under the definition is a list of keywords — verbs– that tell how one would demonstrate mastery of this level of knowledge: eg. classify, explain, outline, summarize, etc. Under the spiral are open-ended questions that students would need comprehension to be able to answer.  


This little chart is so useful it finds its way into the hands of workshop leaders, Bible discussion leaders, and even writers. Why writers? It helps them organize writing, and its questions can also act as writing prompts when writer's block attacks. The questions can encourage you to take your topic in a new direction. 


A New Flip Chart Appears

Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking was so popular that more flip charts were introduced. People loved the original Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking but had also been requesting an updated version. Before long, it was followed by Quick Flip Questions for the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. While it was still new, I sold more of these than of the original flip chart. But soon others discovered what I already knew -- this dirty little secret.

There is nothing new in this updated version. The words for the headings have been changed, but "Creating" has the same material as "Synthesis" had in the original version, and everything else that appears different is just in a different order. The levels of the cognitive domain of learning have been divided by the authors into these levels: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating.

Either of these handy resources helps one improve thinking skills at any age with the flip of a page. Either is an indispensable tool that helps teachers write lesson plans, master Bloom's Taxonomy, and develop higher levels of thinking. It will help students develop analytic skills. They will learn to ask their teachers the right questions and to see through some of the nonsense they will find in their social media feeds.


How to Use the Flip Charts at Home


Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking Charts: A Review
You Can Even Use the Flip Charts at Home
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


There are many ways to use the flip charts in families. They can even help improve child/parent communication. There are both threatening and non-threatening ways to ask questions. If it's your words which put children in a defensive stance (not your tone of voice), this resource can help you frame your questions in a way that may not raise the same barriers to communication. (I would not hold the book in your hand for these encounters. Learn the most useful questions and keep them in your head.)

Homeschoolers will also find these charts valuable. I still like the original version best. Home educators should get a copy for each child of middle school age and older. When the parent assigns reading she can also have the children answer one or two Level IV-VI questions orally or in writing afterward. After the family watches a video, TV commercial, or show together, maybe one of these Level IV and VI Questions would be appropriate to discuss together at the end:


  1. How would you prove...? disprove? 
  2. What choice would you have made?
  3. How is _____ related to...?
  4. What motive is there?
Parents need to help children get into the habit of analyzing what the media puts in front of them instead of just accepting it at face value. 



Why Not Get one of these Handy Critical Thinking Tools Now?




Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking Charts: A Review


***



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon Reviewed

When Life For The Osage Should Have Become Easier

Perhaps The Flower Moon (image courtesy of Pixabay.com)
It isn't often that I read a non-fiction book but this was an exception so, today I will be reviewing the book Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann. It would be difficult to say that I enjoyed this book because the subject matter is more than just a little disturbing; however, I will say instead that I found it fascinating and heartbreaking. 

This book tells about the Osage Indians and the disturbing events that occurred on their reservation in Oklahoma during the 1920s. One might think that by this time the atrocities toward the Indians of North America would have been over. One might be mistaken. Yes, it was after the Indian Wars. Yes, it was after the tribes had been herded off to reservations like a bunch of cattle. Unfortunately, even in the 20th century many white men were not finished with their inhumanity towards the native peoples of the North American continent, in this case the Osage Indians. 

Mr. Grann does a remarkable job of detailing these horrible acts against the tribe. There were greedy people taking unfair advantage and there were murders of the Osage people for one reason: money. You see, it just so happened that the reservation that was created for the Osage tribe turned out to be more than just a rocky barren place for them to eek a living on. There was oil under those rocks! Lots of oil! 

Typically in the history of the US if there was something of value that was found on an Indian Reservation our government would find a way to take it away from them. An instance would be the gold that was found in the Black Hills. At the time of that discovery the Black Hills was a part of the Sioux reservations. In order to get that precious land back, the government came up with an allotment system which forced the Indians to become land owners but there was a twist. In the guise of being fair, there would be a few parcels of land that would be alloted to non-indians (whites). Should we be surprised that the plots of land that had the gold on them would be the ones that were allotted to non-indians?

The allotment system had been dismissed by the government for quite a long time in the early 20th century. There was a push to get the "heathens" to better assimilate into the white culture and it finally became the Osage Indians turn to get serious about leaving their old ways. What the government did not know but the Osage did was that there was oil on their land. In a rather clever set of negotiations between the government and the tribe, a deal was struck. The Osage would agree to the allotment system but (and this is a huge BUT) they wanted the sole rights to the minerals on the land. And that my friends is where the Osage pulled one over on the men who thought they were pulling one over on them. After the agreement was signed, the Osage announced the discovery of oil. It would appear that the Osage had won!

Suddenly, the Osage people were rich, filthy rich! They built mansions, they drove brand new automobiles, they dressed in fine clothing and they hired servants. In the eyes of many white men this was absolutely unacceptable! So, it was declared that the Indians were not smart enough to handle their own money. The whites couldn't take the oil rich land away but they could control the money and keep a lot of it for themselves. It gets worse!

Mr. Grann walks us through the events of a time known as The Reign of Terror by the Osage. He tells of the deceit and wicked ways that many followed to get that money from the Osage people. Some married an Osage in order to get their grimy hands on the oil money. Some, even systematically ended the lives of the Osage so that the division of the monies grew as there were less to receive it.

This is not a pretty story. It is a factual one and a heartbreaking one but it is not pretty. If you like to read about real history, this might be a book that you will find fascinating. It is often times difficult to read about the dark side of humanity; however, it can also be enlightening. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Recommended Summer Reading for Dog Lovers

My summer vacation is fast approaching and I am happily preparing for it by gathering several books perfect for easy, summer reading. My plan is to spend much of my vacation relaxing, lost in books. As a person who loves dogs, I am choosing one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that focuses on dogs. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series are reliably comforting books with uplifting stories. In this review, I will share some of those titles focused on dogs. 


Not Familiar with the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books?


Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been around since the 1990's. The founders created the series with the thought that people can help people via the sharing of their personal stories. Since that time, they have published hundreds of books, selling millions of copies. Each book is focused on a different theme. And each book is a compilation of stories from every day people who have a story to share within that theme.


Why Read Stories About Dogs?



Dogs are our companions. Our guardians. Our best friends and our babies. I have recently been fortunate enough to witness some people doing really good things for dogs. 

I have watched people organizing huge events to do fund-raising for the organizations that care for dogs. And I have watched individuals repeatedly foster individual dogs until permanent homes are found. Whether it is in huge numbers, or only one person and one dog at a time, I have been witness to the love we have for our dogs.

At this time in my life, and during this time in the world, I want to spend my vacation immersed in stories that are loving and uplifting. Stories that take me away to happy places. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories sometimes include stories of grief and loss. But that grief and loss has meaning. Not the display of trauma and loss for ratings and site visits rather an exploration of the meaning of love and loss. I have not yet chosen the dog stories book I will be reading during my vacation, but I am familiar with this series of books and know that I can depend on what types of stories I will find in the newest copy being added to my library.



Related Links about Dogs from Review This! Contributors


The writers at Review This! love their dogs. In fact, several of us have dogs named Daisy. Below are links to some of the dog-related articles we have written.

My Daisy is a small dog with a short coat. She is a rat terrier. And while she loves being outdoors during all season, I provide a coat or sweater for her during the coldest months so that she can remain warm during our winter outdoor adventures. You can meet my Daisy in my article about Sweater & Jacket Choices for Dogs Who Need Them.

Susan shares her pick of Patriotic Dog Bandanas, Collars, and Clothes.  With patriotic and summer holidays upon us, check out this fun ideas for your holiday dog. Whether your dog is a fast and furious, frisbee-fetching machine, or a dainty little girl-dog in a dress, you will find something in her article for your dog. The adorable photos alone are worth a click. A very important note: Susan shares that July 5th is the day of the highest number of admissions of dogs to animal shelters. And she reminds us to take extra caution with our dogs during fireworks season.

Puppies. Who doesn't love a puppy?  But wow, potty-training a puppy can be so frustrating. And potentially damaging to your home as well as your sanity. Beverly has found a solution. She reviews the Puppy Potty Trainer - the system her family members chose to use for their new four-legged addition to their family. Beverly shared something I hadn't considered previously: when traveling or visiting with a new puppy during the potty-training stage, a portable and familiar potty system that can be taken into unfamiliar settings can aide in the potty training. Such a wonderful idea (and probably very welcomed by the home owners the puppy is visiting!).

Wednesday Elf wrote a wonderful Review of Greeting Cards for Pet Lovers. While she reviews a variety of sources of unique greeting cards for both dog and cat lovers, I was drawn to the adorable greeting cards she highlighted from the AfricanGrey store. That artist clearly loves Boston Terriers, but also offers a variety of dog breeds on these greeting cards. While browsing the site I saw cards for many different occasions. Including adorable Wedding Boxers, 

And last but absolutely not least - 

Dog lovers know that the best thing about a dog is loving a dog and the worst thing about loving a dog is when that dog passes. Our dogs are such intregal part of our lives that the void they leave when they are gone is enormous. Barbara shares with us both a loving memorial of her little "Girl Dog" and a wonderful wall decal. Every Time I Lose a Dog is a loving tribute to the dogs we've loved and lost. 







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, June 4, 2017

3 Decorating Choices for a Love Themed Bedroom

All You Need is Love - A Bedroom Theme Based on What the Worlds Need Now

Well, these grand sentiments may be a little too big for bedroom décor, however, decorating because love is love, family is love, children mean love, or you love to inspire how to love, makes all the sense in the world.

From deciding upon a nursery theme to decorating a master bedroom, love works. Love fits all ages, all sizes, and all families and best of all, we never outgrow love. We can re-use and re-purpose all things love.

Love Rugs - The One Time You Can Walk all Over Love to Feel Good

The above handcrafted, stain resistant Love Rug is like love itself; it works for all ages. Whether you're decorating a child's room or planning to add loveable funk to your master bedroom, this four foot by six foot, one inch thick rug makes a creative addition.

For the nursery, put it front of the crib, for a grown-up space, add it to the side or end of the bed, in the middle of the room, or depending upon the size of the space, in front of a corner reading chair.

If this rug isn't just right, be sure to visit the link under the above Love-Rug photo to view a wider selection of colors, styles and designs.

Light Up the Room with Love - LED Love Signs


This particular Love Sign features 16 LED white lights and measures 20.8" by 9.25" by 1.56". It's a cordless accessory that operates with two AA batteries. It has an on off switch as well.

Place it in a bedroom above a dresser or over each bedroom side table as a form of ambient lighting. Better yet, for those who get up in the middle of the night to feed baby, it makes the ideal soft lighted guide.

When rocking baby, feeling tired, the word of love helps to remind us about what's important in life.

When you visit the link under the LED Love Sign photo, you'll find additional LED sign choices.

Wrap Love Around You in Bed with Love Themed Bedding


One of the easiest ways to bring a little love into the bedroom is by redoing your bedding set with one that features hearts, or roses, or words

Love Themed Bedding Here - Additional Designs As Well
Surprisingly, artistic bedding sets can be quite affordable making them an excellent choice for a seasonal or emotional re-do.

We tend to think our bedding has to remain the same, when in truth, purchasing various duvet sets allows us to interchange our room's décor without much added expense or fuss.

Use a love themed duvet set for your love themed bedroom and interchange it from time to time if hearts and roses get a little too much for constant use.

Changing up duvet sets simply means choosing colors and themes to match the fundamental design of the room. Find duvets that tie into your existing floors and walls and you'll be able to give your space hassle-free-pick-me-ups whenever you're in the mood for it.

Lead with love, it's the only road that takes us home - happy decorating.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

And Then There Were None - The Mini Series

And Then There Were None
If you're after a dark mystery set in the late 1930s that will have you guessing right up to the end then you'll love And Then There Were None.   I have read the book, but I'm actually reviewing the 2015 mini series that was made for the BBC.

The book, by Agatha Christie, was published in 1939 and I think the miniseries captures the era well and it certainly has a lot of the nostalgic Christie feel about it.  If you're thinking of an Agatha Christie novel with good manners, manor houses and a little inconvenient murder to solve then you need to revisit Dame Christie.   And Then There Were None is when Agatha Christie tapped into her dark side and the result is a real masterpiece.

One of the reasons I liked the miniseries is that it managed to capture the darkness really well.  The bleakness of the island that is the main setting for the mini series made me want to go and visit, but it turns out that it wasn't actually filmed on an island!  When I first heard about this adaptation I remember reading 'mass murder rarely gets as fun as this' which I thought would've made a great tagline.

The basic story shows 8 strangers being invited to stay on a small, isolated island by someone none of them have actually met - the mysterious U. N. Owen.   When they get to the island their host isn't there although there are two servants on the island to look after them.

As the three part mini series unfolds our island cast of ten are killed off in the same way as the nursery rhyme (known as Ten Little Indians or Ten Little Soldiers), something which is picked up on by one of the main characters Vera Claythorne (played admirably by Maeve Dermody).

As you get to the end and are still trying to work out who did it we do get to see who was pulling the strings and it is the ending where it deviates from the book a bit, but not in a bad way.

I really believe that if Agatha Christie was alive today she'd be very happy with how this mini series turned out.

If you wanted to you could always read the book and watch the mini series to see which you prefer!  You can check out all of Agatha Christie's books on Agatha Christie's Booklist.




.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Brickmaker's Bride - Refined by Love Book Series Reviewed

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller Reviewed
I just finished reading the Refined by Love book series written by Judith Miller and I ran over here as fast as I could to write my review.  I really enjoyed reading this series and was quite sorry when I realized I had read the last page in the final book.  The characters were so well developed over these 3 books that I really do feel like I know the family.  The author, Judith Miller, did an excellent job of resolving a lot of issues that a reader follows though the entire series.  

I had initially planned to review all 3 books in this one article.  However, once I started writing, I realized that would make this post too long.  Therefore, I will be reviewing The Potter's Wife (book 2) and The Artisan's Wife (book 3) in separate posts over the next 2 weeks.  

For this post, we shall focus only on The Brickmaker's Bride which is the first book in the series.

The Brickmakers Bride Book Review



The Brickmaker's Bride - #1 of the Series, Refined by Love


The title pretty much gives away the romantic side of the plot, but there is so much more to these books than just the romance.  Since they are historical fictions, the words paint a picture of what life for immigrants in in the late 1800's might have been like.  

The Brickmaker's Bride is unique because the immigrants were taken advantage of by Irish family members who brought them to America to work in Uncle Hugh's brickyard.  You would think that a family member would look out for their family, but Uncle Hugh prefers to profit off their labor and takes advantage of the needs of his own family.


The Plot

 The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love)When Hugh Crothers cheats his way to a small fortune in Ireland, he quickly loads his wife, her sister and his nephew, Ewan, on a boat bound for America.  The Irish immigrants have great plans and high hopes for their new home.  Because of their background working in brickyards, Hugh decides purchasing a brickyard would be their best investment.  Ewan agrees to help him establish the brickyard with the understanding that they will bring his sisters to America as soon as they have the funds and that Uncle Hugh will make him a partner once the brickyard is profitable.  

Hugh purchases Woodfield Brickworks from Mrs. Woodfield and her daughter Laura, who worked in the brickyard office for her father.  When Mr. Woodfield did not return from war, it was necessary for the women to sell the brickworks and few people had the capital to purchase the business.  Winston Hawkins, an attorney with political aspirations that happens to be courting Laura Woodfield, serves as the intermediary between the Woodfields, the bank, and Crothers.

From the very beginning, Uncle Hugh tries to take advantage of the women and Ewan finds himself caught in the middle.  Almost immediately there is a misunderstanding about the property included in the sale.  Uncle Hugh believes the widow's mansion is included, but the house that is included is a smaller home close to the brickyard.  It was properly spelled out in the contract, but Hugh still maintains he was cheated and should have been given the mansion for the price he paid.  Ewan maintains he should have read the contract, asked questions and even visited the house before signing any papers.  But Hugh had been in a hurry to get on with it.

It is Ewan's knowledge, honestly and integrity that would make the brickworks successful again with the help of the Woodfield women who are willing to introduce him to all the right people.  Neither Hawkins nor Crothers are happy about the alliance being formed between Ewan and the Woodfields. 

Once the brickyard is operational, more reliable workers are needed.  Because it is in his best interest, Uncle Hugh secures a loan from the bank and sends the money back to Ireland for 10 male family members and their families, plus Ewan's sisters to come to America.  Once they arrive, they are all put to work, yet they have a huge debt to payoff.  Uncle Hugh expects each one of them to pay him back for their passage, plus interest, as well as pay him for their housing.  His wife, Margaret, puts a few of the women to work as servants and maids in her new big house.

There is much stress and strife as Uncle Hugh and Margaret continue to scheme and take advantage of everyone.  There are several additional minor plots developing throughout this book since it is the foundation for the entire series.  While it may seem to drag a bit, it is necessary to properly prepare us for the following books.

Even though it is necessary to read this book to have the full background of the other two books, I have no desire to spoil this book for you.  Therefore, I will conclude this review now and let you read it for yourself.  While you won't be surprised by who gets married, you will be shocked by some of the other actions and decisions made throughout this book. 

Be sure and join me next week for the review of The Potter's Lady and the following week for The Artisan's Wife.

 
Read More Book Reviews at
ReviewThisBooks.com




The Brickmaker's Bride Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Prepare Your Family For Survival: A Book Review

Is your family prepared for a disaster or an emergency? If you aren't sure, don't miss Prepare Your Family for Survival. Here's a book review.

Recently I've been reading about and giving a lot of thought to emergency preparedness. Survival. Planning in case of a natural disaster or man-made emergency.

As a wife and mom, the person in the household who plans daily meals and re-stocks the pantry once or twice a week, how would I feed and otherwise care for my family if I couldn't get out to buy food?

What if the power went out and the blackout lasted for several days or even weeks. How would we cook? Would we have enough water to drink? To use in cooking? To wash with or flush the toilet?

I've asked myself, "Is our family prepared for an emergency situation?"

Is yours?

Meet Author Linda Loosli


As I sought out answers, I came across a helpful book called Prepare Your Family for Survival, written by Linda Loosli, founder of Food Storage Moms. Linda has been schooling herself (and others) for decades and she knows the topic of emergency preparation inside and out.

Linda first became interested in preparedness when she was a teenager and thrust into a situation that included a serious snowstorm, an empty pantry, and several mouths to feed. Due to extenuating circumstances, she and a cousin were put in a position of having to find food for the family. Quite a task at age 16. And, really, at any age!

Linda vowed to herself after the snowstorm disaster that when she grew up and had a family, she would see to it that they were always prepared to face an emergency, that she would always have enough food and other supplies stored, just in case. After she was married, she put her thoughts into action. She began with a garden, advanced to canning food, then eventually began reaching out to neighbors and church friends, teaching classes to help other women learn how to prepare their families, too.

Prepare Your Family For Survival by Linda Loosli, Book Review from ReviewThisReviews
Prepare Your Family For Survival
Click the book cover for a peek inside.


This is Not a Doomsday Book


Often when people think of preparing for survival, the term "doomsday" finds its way into the conversation. Linda doesn't use fear to motivate. Having lived through emergencies, she knows very well what we all should know: power outages and other unexpected scenarios can and do occur with little or no warning, anytime, anywhere. And it's up to each family to prepare. While her practical methods and advice speak mainly to women, the steps to becoming prepared to survive apply to the entire family.

What You'll Learn From The Book


Most of Prepare Your Family For Survival addresses how to prepare to brave an emergency at home, though there also is a very helpful section on "bugging out," deciding when it's best to leave your home and what to take when you do. Linda has done the math for her readers, providing lists, charts, and check-off sheets based on family size. She even includes sections on the special needs that young children and pets present.

I like that the author makes it clear that water is first and foremost when it comes to what individuals need to survive. She also writes about storing food and how to choose which food to store, emergency cooking situations, what to do when the power is out, family first aid and medical preparedness, personal hygiene, and laundry. Her advice is concise and helpful even to the point of recommending particular products that work. And since Linda has tested literally just about every survival product ever invented, she definitely knows what works and what doesn't.

Who Needs This Book


The book addresses the basics of preparedness and survival, but even those with prior experience in the field may learn a thing or two. If you're a beginner and need to finally get started storing survival essentials, this is a perfect book for you.

To me, the introduction of the book is worth its price for the peace of mind that it offers. Understanding that it's important to treat preparedness as part of a lifestyle takes the "scary and overwhelming" out of the topic. And, let's face it, many of us only think about how prepared we really are when the tornado sirens start or the first forecast of just where the next hurricane might make landfall appears on the nightly news.

Despite my well-known affinity for ebooks and my beloved Kindle, I bought this book in the paperback version. There are lots of charts and lists inside and I've been flipping back and forth through the chapters since I got my copy. In this case paper is convenient and besides, charging your tablet might not be a big priority when the power's been out for days.

Make your choice (paper or ebook) at this link. Then please come back and leave a comment to let me and other readers know what you learned from the book that you didn't already know, and how the book helped motivate you to Prepare Your Family For Survival.

~Susan Deppner
Read more of my reviews.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner